Speed Reads

election 2020

Trump's phone call with Raffensperger reportedly wasn't the only one he made in hopes of overturning Georgia vote

It turns out there was another call.

President Trump in December spoke with the investigations chief for the Georgia Secretary of State's office — days before he had a similar conversation with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger himself — about finding votes in Georgia that would swing the state's presidential electors toward him, The Washington Post and CBS News report. The Raffensberger call, which was recorded by the secretary of state, quickly gained notoriety, with Trump garnering criticism for his fruitless attempts to convince Raffensperger to overturn Georgia's presidential election results.

The earlier call with the election official, whose name is being withheld by the Post because of safety considerations, appears to have a lot of overlap with its successor. Trump reportedly telling the official they would be a "national hero" if they found evidence of fraud, for instance, echoed his pleas to Raffensperger. Still, the context was slightly different since the official was leading an ongoing inquiry into allegations of voter fraud in Cobb County (no evidence was found). Therefore, some legal experts believe the conversation could carry criminal implications for Trump. "Oh my god, of course that's obstruction — any way you cut it," Nick Akerman, a former federal prosecutor in New York and member of the Watergate prosecution team, told the Post.

Akerman said he'd be "shocked" if Trump didn't commit a crime, noting that he took the time to identify the investigator, obtain a phone number, and call.

Others weren't so sure, including Robert James, a former prosecutor in Georgia's DeKalb County, who told the Post that without audio of the call it's too difficult to tell what tone Trump used or whether his intentions were clear. Read more at The Washington Post.